For over three years, Daddy-o has been a Fly-In, Fly-Out (FIFO) parent. It has not been without some challenges and now he’s transitioning back into the local office. This is good news! Although he works long hours, it means he will be home most nights. It’s something we are all looking forward to. (Kind of.)
You see, I’ve grown quite accustom to my strange new existence as a solo parent during the week. He had a full week home a couple of weeks ago and, after that, I noticed that re-entry might be a little bit of a transition for me. Here are the reasons why I was enjoying the solo parenting gig:
You don’t get randomly asked “Whatcha doing?” by an adult.
This question now gets asked of me often. Usually the answer is “What does it look like I’m doing?” because if I’m on my laptop, it means I’m on my laptop. If I’m cleaning up the kitchen, I’m cleaning up the kitchen. There’s not a lot of mystery in my actions so getting asked this question regularly is a bit unnerving.
You can go to bed unannounced.
Another question I’m getting more often is “I’m heading up to bed, are you?” And it’s another one I’m not quite used to. I’m used to going to bed unannounced when I’m tired. I don’t have the same bedtime as someone else. I honestly can’t remember if we ever used to go to bed at the same time.
You are accustomed to handling ALL the noise.
When I get asked if the kids are always this loud, my answer is: Yes. Yes they are. You just forget because you have lived like a bachelor five days a week for three years. There are six of them and also random other friends around at all times. It does not make for a quiet existence. But since I’m the only one here during the week, I’ve become quite accustomed to the racket. Makes it easier for me to be flexible in potentially stressful situations.
Your evenings are yours.
Then there’s the whole thing about having another adult around in the evenings. Usually my kids go to bed and I do what I like. This means I can work, have a friend pop by, watch what I want on TV in bed and enjoy a bit of solitude. Now, there’s a person in my bed. And that person snores.
The fact is, Daddy-o is the best dude ever and having him home full time will be awesome. It might just take a little getting used to on my part.
Do you have a partner that travels a lot for work? Do you find you get into a groove and they can be a bit disruptive upon returning? How have you managed “re-entry”?
About the Author:
Julie Cole is co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc., the leading provider of kids’ labels, and a proud mom of six.